15. Study on the culinary heritage and traditions of Bulgaria and differentiation of culinary developments – a prerequisite for the development of the regions and the preservation of culinary traditions

Author: Ivanka Lulcheva, Krasimir Aleksandrov


One of the main priorities of the EU is the development of the regions in all aspects of their diversity, including cooking. The need for a culinary exploration of the zoning and authentic Bulgarian cuisine is extremely pressing and linked to the need for the creation of a quality tourism product. The identification, evaluation, analysis and promotion of the culinary phenomenon are of extreme importance, typical of a specific region and its presentation to the general public.
In Bulgaria there are separate areas characterized by their typical dishes and quirks in eating habits which gives grounds to speak of regional cuisines in this country. Mention of the Rhodopi cuisine, Thracian cuisine, cuisine from Dobroudzha, etc., it is known that we have typical dishes, typical dishes in the Pirin region, in Srednogorie, etc. Regardless of the studies on the regional characteristics in culinary technology and several previous entries/mainly by the Institute of Nutrition, as well as various events to promote our national cuisine in catering establishments, the materials in this respect are extremely scarce. There are few publications with recipes from regional cuisines/typical of individual areas/and even fewer are the authentic recipes for dishes and desserts, collected in various parts of the country, directly from local people/culinary folklore.
The goal of this article is to show that the authentic old Bulgarian cuisine is influenced by the region in which it is produced and its preservation and promotion matters for its development; to make an exemplary model for culinary zoning, based on the developed methodology applied to the region of the Rhodopes; to select and systematize typical products and dishes of the region.
Based on elite gourmets and studies carried out on our part, we divided the country into 7 gourmet areas: 1.Balkan mountains region; 2. Black Sea region; 3. Danube region including the area from Vidin to Silistra; 4. Culinary region of Thrace; 5. The Rhodopes region; 6. Western Bulgaria (Shopski); 7. Macedonian culinary region.
On the other hand, during the culinary regionalization we relied on local food resources; factors determining the national characteristics of eating; eating habits that have been formed over the centuries of national historical development based on local climatic conditions, soil fertility, religion and traditional culinary practices, passed down from generation to generation; eating ways and features in different regions of Bulgaria.

Keywords: Authentic country cooking, culinary regionalization, regional product